Changing Careers: Where to Start
There are plenty of reasons why individuals find themselves needing or wanting to make a career shift. When you’ve been in one industry, it can be hard to know where to begin as you’re seeking a change. Let’s take a look at some expert advice on how to start putting your best foot forward as you seek out your dream job and a whole new career.

As you consider transitioning away from your current career path, Lina, Hiring Expert at ADP, offers advice to help ensure that you’re headed in a direction you truly want to go. She says, “I would recommend first digging into what you love and dislike in your current job and basing your new direction off of those things. Through your previous work and education, you've developed a lot of soft, transferable skills that could help you in a number of different roles, but your path should really be shaped by what you enjoy doing.” More from Lina

Will I Take a Paycut?

Eddie, Hiring Expert at Quest Diagnostics, shares about the realities of pay-cuts when you shift to a field where you have little to no experience. He says, “The bad news is that many people who switch from one field to another are vulnerable to pay cuts. With little to no experience in the field and the requirement to learn new skills, a pay cut may be inevitable. Decide how much of a pay cut you are willing to take in order to chase your dream.” More from Eddie

Eddie goes on to say, “The good news is that you may be able to transition without taking a pay cut if you're strategic. The first thing I would suggest is building a quality network. While that can take some time, it can put you in a better position as you’re searching for new jobs. Second, focus on your transferable skills. Here's an excellent list of transferable skills from Rogue Community College that you can include in your cover letter and resume.”

Networking In a New Space

Lina, Hiring Expert at ADP, chimes back in saying, “Once you know what industry you’d like to break into, start networking through LinkedIn and in-person networking events. Build connections with professionals that are in the field/role that you want to go into. And finally, craft a strong resume. I would suggest a functional resume as you pursue changing careers that focus more on skills and abilities rather than chronological work history.”

Xavier, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, shares, “Many want to make a career shift but fear that it’s impossible once they’ve spent years gaining experience in another field. I would suggest seeking paid internship opportunities if possible. If that isn't an option seek out opportunities within your current organization that will allow you to gain experience. Attending networking events can also be beneficial if you can connect with someone in your desired field and seek an opportunity to shadow them on their role. Going the extra mile to gain more insight into your desired field can help you stand out during the job-seeking process.” More from Xavier

Use What You Have

If you are seeking a career in a new field, it’s likely because you’re more passionate about that industry or feel better suited to that role. Use that enthusiasm and the natural ways that you relate to a new position in the wording of your cover letter and the organization of your resume. Center your resume around the skills you’ve gained that are transferable to your new position. Wendy, Hiring Expert at Pitney Bowes, says, “When you have no experience in the new field the best way to position yourself is with your transferable skills. Give tangible examples of things you have accomplished that are relevant to the new role.” More from Wendy

If you have specific questions about transferable skills, networking, or seeking out a new career, don’t hesitate to ask! Our experts are here to guide and encourage you along the way.
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